In Canada, farmers can apply chemical fertilizers to their crops responsibly and affordably without reducing the fertility of their land. Impoverished farmers in countries like the Philippines cannot.
Tragically, they often have no choice but to give more than half their harvests back to stores as payment for expensive fertilizers, as well as a 10 per cent monthly interest charge.
Without proper instruction, the use of such chemicals can reduce the nutrition of their crops in the short-term, and over time, drastically diminish the viability of their precious soil.
That’s why Samaritan’s Purse and our partner organization in the Philippines have used donations from generous Canadians to train farmers like John Bacuyag to prepare their own fertilizers. Those fertilizers use inexpensive, accessible, and organic materials including eggshells, fermented juices, and manure.
Many neighbors doubted John’s decision to use only natural fertilizers and homemade concoctions on his rice fields this past growing season.
Some said, “They’ll soon turn yellow,” but they grew up green. Others commented, “Maybe it will only yield a few stalks,” but his seedlings sprouted one or two more stalks than usual. Still more skeptics said, “Maybe the grains will be flat and empty.” To their surprise, the grains were fat and full.
John’s resolve to harvest organic crops didn’t waver despite so many votes of non-confidence.
“Just wait, we will soon see,” he replied to his critics. “And whatever happens, I don’t have any credit with interest to pay, and I am helping my soil get healthy.”
John proved his critics wrong. In one year, he saw a 40 per cent increase in his rice yield thanks to implementing the training and enriching his soil.
There is much more work to do in order to help farmers around the world discover the benefits of sustainable agriculture. Your continued prayers and gifts can make that happen.
John’s fellow farmer and brother in Christ, Charlie, said: “My wife insists that we will only use the natural fertilizers we started making…I’m looking forward to having my soil recover from the damage from using [too much] commercial fertilizers all these years, and get an even better and healthier yield!”
John is a worship leader and Charlie the outreach pastor at their local church. Discipleship courses coupled with agricultural training is transforming their village from the inside out, equipping people like them to lead their communities into healthier futures.
Equip hard-working farmers to provide nutritious food and sustainable income for their families through practical training and supplies needed to plant and harvest abundant gardens and other crops.